Coastal Zone (Home of the virgin beaches)
The only place in East Africa where fresh water and salt water meet, hence provide perfect breed site and spot fishing destination. Maziwe Island provide romantic picnic site for lunch in the middle of Indian Ocean.
Although it is not well known as a coastal destination, this small and historic town has attractive sandy beaches, a friendly and laid-back atmosphere, and a wealth of decaying colonial buildings dating from the slave trade and the German occupation. It is also a good place for Swahili cultural visits.
For those who like a beach without the crowds, this is a good alternative to Zanzibar.
Location: Northern Tanzania coast, Southern of Tanga. Can be reached by fight or in conjunction with a trip to Amani Nature Reserve and/or Lushoto Mountain.
Activities: Diving, Snorkeling, Boat ride, Fishing, Bird watching, Cultural tours and walking
Bagamoyo is gaining ground as a popular alternate to Zanzibar. It is here that you will find similarities to Zanzibar (beautiful beaches and historic sites) without the large numbers of tourists.
Bagamoyo is now little more than a small town, but it used to be one of the most important ports in East Africa. It was a leading port for the ivory and slave trade. The area around Bagamoyo features a number of ancient buildings, some dating back more than 800 years.
Location: Only 150minites from Dar Es Salaam
Activities: Diving, Fishing, Historical tour, Dance & Drum Classes.
Dar Es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is a major African city with more than 3 million people. Due to the timing of flights, we do occasionally recommend overnights in Dar. The best bet for a half-day in Dar is to head to Mwenge where there are some good souvenir shopping, especially wood carvings. And near there is the Makumbusho Village Museum where you can find a collection of authentic homes from 18 Tanzanian tribes. You can get a short tour and a broad overview of village life in Tanzania.
There are also some decent beach hotels in/near Dar es Salaam, but for anything more than a 1 or 2 night visit, these are mostly outshined by nearby Zanzibar, which is where most people go. Near Dar, just a couple hours north, is Bagamoyo. This is a laid-back large village that has several very nice beach hotels.
Saadani National Park
Is where the beach meets the bush. The only national park in East Africa to boast an Indian Ocean beachfront, it possesses all the attributes that make Tanzania’s tropical coastline and islands so popular with European sun-worshippers. Yet it is also the one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or a lion coming to drink at the nearby waterhole!
Of the big five, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo are present, the rare Roosevelt sable is indigenous, whilst plains game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and hartebeest are more frequently seen in larger herds.
The southern boundary is marked by the Wami River, which attracts fabulous bird life, large pods of hippo and massive crocodile. Bottle-nosed dolphins are common off the Southern coast of the reserve, whales pass through the Zanzibar Channel in October and November, and there is a green turtle breeding beach at Madete in the North.
Location: On the north coast, 100km (60miles) northeast of Dar Es Salaam
Activities: Game drive, nature walk, boat trip and village tour
Amani Nature Reserve
The Amani Nature Reserve is well off the beaten path of the usual safari circuit, but makes a perfect stopover on longer trips and while driving to the Coast Zone. It’s quiet, tranquil setting offers the perfect opportunity to relax from the rigorous schedule of vehicle-based safaris.
For the aspiring African botanist, Amani Nature Reserve’s incredible diversity of plant life -- between 600 to 1,000 different species -- is sure to attract. And of the 350 species of birds living in the Usambara forestry, many are rare and endanged. Three bird species found strictly in the Amani Nature Reserve are the Usambara alethe, Naduck eagle and the Usambara weaver.
Guided nature walks, prohibited in Tanzania’s national parks, are a unique feature of the nature reserve and offer an exciting opportunity to view the flora and fauna of the area up close. Most of the trails in the Amani Nature Reserves are available for hiking and a few can be used driving tour.
Location: Northeast Tanzania, near Tanga
Activities: Hiking, Biking, night walk.